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ASAP - Indianapolis

The Basics

In college-level writing, your professors are going to expect thoughtful, polished work.  To do this, students will need to:

-- Locate scholarly articles and other reference materials,

-- Determine the credibility of information and decide if it is worth further investigation,

-- Analyze and synthesize information, relating sources to the student's own writing,

-- Cite sources,

-- Organize work and demonstrate logical connections and transitions, 

-- Write using proper grammar and spelling, proofread, and edit work before submission.

6 Steps to Effective Research

1. Know your task.  Look at the requirements and directions for your assignment.  Consider how you will be evaluated.

2. Plan your research.  Select a topic and create your research question.  Decide where to look for information. Determine how long you have to do tasks, and organize tasks.

3. Find your resources.  Use library databases and try different types of sources like encyclopedias, books, journals, magazines, newspapers, interviews, dissertations, audio, and video clips.

4. Evaluate your resources.  Decide if your source is legitimate and relevant to your research.  Use the CRAAP test.

5. Use your resources.  Examine the abstract of your article first to get an idea of what it is about.  Read and consider how the article supports or denies your claims. Think about what you read and write your own thoughts as a result of your research.

6.  Cite your sources!  Use in-text citations, footnotes, bibliographies, references, or works cited pages.  Format according to class instructions.  APA and MLA are the most used formats at Ivy Tech.

How to do research Prezi

Getting Started

To get started finding your resources (step 3 in effective research), try these tools available on the library website:


The CRAAP test is a valuable tool to help decide if the source you're looking at is worth using.  CRAAP stands for:

Currency When was the article written?
Relevance How does the article apply to your research?

Who wrote it?  

Does the author have the education and experience to discuss the topic?


How did the author get the information?

Does the data represent a large and varied sample?


Do you feel like the article is trying to sell something?  

Do you feel the article is written to influence your emotions?